Africa records two million coronavirus cases amid fears of fresh surge

A patient with a doctor wearing a full suit of PPE
The Canary

Africa has surpassed two million confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) cases as health officials warn of infections starting to creep up again into a second surge.

Second wave

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday that the 54-country continent has seen more than 48,000 deaths from coronavirus. The continent of 1.3bn people is being warned against “prevention fatigue” as countries loosen pandemic restrictions to ease their economies’ suffering and more people travel.

The Africa CDC director this week openly worried that the level of mask-wearing has gone down and called that dangerous.

Virus Outbreak Africa Second Surge
The rubber boots of Kenyan medical workers stand in a line to dry after being decontaminated (Brian Inganga/AP)

“We don’t know how high the second peak will come”, John Nkengasong said on Monday.

While the world takes hope from recent news about promising coronavirus vaccines, African health officials also worry that the continent will suffer as richer countries buy up supplies.

Several African countries have confirmed virus cases in the six figures. South Africa leads with more than 750,000, while Morocco has more than 300,000, Egypt more than 110,000, and Ethiopia more than 100,000.

Kenya is the latest concern as it sees a fresh surge in cases.

At least four doctors died on Saturday alone, leading a powerful health union in the country to threaten a nationwide strike starting next month.

Africa has conducted nearly 20 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic began but shortages mean the true number of infections is unknown.

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